Kent Mayfield's professional journey has taken him on many different paths, but Pulaski County High School baseball has always seemed to be the one constant in his life.
This past week, Mayfield was named the Pulaski County High School baseball coach for the third time in his career. Mayfield first coached the Maroons' baseball team for three seasons from 2003 to 2005, and again for another three seasons from 2009 to 2011.
Mayfield, a former Pulaski County High School baseball standout, was an assistant coach in the early years of the Southwestern baseball program and has served as an assistant coach at Pulaski County - off and on - for well over 10 years.
"My head coaching journey has been crazy," Mayfield laughed. "I was slated to be Josh Anderson's assistant this past spring, with no intentions of being a head coach again."
But after Anderson announced he was stepping down as head coach, Mayfield was left with a decision to make a third stint as the Maroons head baseball coach.
Mayfield's first head coaching job at Pulaski County came in 2003, after serving as Gilbert Wilson's assistant for six seasons. Both Mayfield and the late Scott McAninch served as Wilson's assistants. McAninch stayed on Mayfield's staff until he took over the program in 2006.
Mayfield took over the Pulaski County baseball program a second time in 2009 after the unfortunate death of his friend Scott McAninch.
"Both times I had just wanted to be an assistant coach and help out with the program, and really had no desire to be a head coach," Mayfield explained. "After Josh (Anderson) stepped down, the school's leadership discussed it with me and I had to discuss with my family before I made my decision."
Besides Mayfield's immense love for Pulaski County High School baseball, his decision to coach again for the Maroons was made easier by the presence of one of his assistant coaches.
Longtime Maroons' assistant coach Kellan Jones, who happens to be Mayfield's nephew, was a former standout Pulaski County High School baseball player under Mayfield.
"Kellan was a major factor in my decision to take on the head coaching job," Mayfield explained. "Kellan has been around the program for some time and he has a great relationship with all the kids. He will is a tremendous asset to the program."
Despite two short stints as the Pulaski County High School head baseball coach, Mayfield has had great success as the Maroons' skipper. Mayfield has accumulated 117 wins in six seasons, with two district titles, three 12th Region Tournament semifinal appearances and a 2004 region runner-up title.
In Mayfield's first year as the Maroons' head coach in 2003, he led the Maroons to the 12th Region's best record of 30 wins and only 4 losses.
Mayfield, the former Shopville Elementary School principal, has always tried to stay around the game of baseball.
"I have always been a part of baseball camps, clinics and lessons," Mayfield said. "I have a passion for teaching the game of baseball. I love the interactions with the kids, and I love to watch them develop as baseball players and as young men."
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.